Climate change is child’s play. At least, that is what the grade seven students from Ensingweni Primary Eco-School, near Mtunzini, in KwaZulu-Natal, think after helping to develop a climate change game.
The Puzzling Climate Change card game reportedly encourages debate around climate change and explores actions to help mitigate climate change. The intended outcome is for students to draw up a personal plan on how to combat climate change in their schools, homes and communities.
“The concept of climate change is often difficult for children and adults to understand as it involves being able to see the ‘bigger picture’ on a global scale. To implement sustainable solutions in combating climate change, it is important that individual citizens of the earth understand their contribution to climate change and their role in being a part of the solution,” says power and automation technology group ABB South Africa sustainability manager Chesney Bradshaw.
The company, together with Eskom’s Energy and Sustainability Programme, funded the environmental game development with assist- ance from the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa).
This game can be used by all ages and by anyone who wants to learn more about protecting the earth. The aim is to encourage discussion and learning around this topic that is vital to all of us, says Bradshaw.
The introduction of the Puzzling Climate Change game to teachers nationally coincides with the run-up to the seventeenth Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) and aims to involve teachers in interactive activities with schoolchildren, says ABB South Africa CEO Carlos Poñe.
“It will help to raise their awareness and increase their understanding of these important climate change discussions to be held in Durban in December.”
In 2009, ABB agreed to sponsor the production of 1 500 copies of the game for the Wessa/World Wildlife Fund Eco-Schools Programme and the Eskom Energy and Sustainability Programme. The Ensingweni Primary School realised that the game was a valuable teaching aid and they wanted to share it with other schools. This game was then distributed to the 176 schools registered with the Eskom Energy and Sustainability Programme.
The game was first published in October 2009. It has been distributed to almost all the 1 000 registered eco-schools across South Africa.
Wessa runs numerous international environmental training courses for the Southern African Development Community.